25 July 2010

10 Things I Can't Live Without

In the discussion ('meme') 10 Things I Can't Live Without (related to genealogy), nine of Elyse's ten things require a computer. My list is very different - possibly because I did most of my research in the 1970s/80s! Genealogy is certainly easier and more fun if you have a computer, email, the Internet, and the ability to visit local libraries or LDS Family History Centres - but a lot can be accomplished without them. Just ask any genealogist who is a full-time carer or physically unable to get out and about.

I am often without a computer for a week or so, but I can still work on my family tree if I have:
  1. The family history 'book' that I wrote on a typewriter in the 1980s. It has a lot of my data, detailed source references and a bibliography.
  2. Address book and Correspondence log (I can write letters on paper to relatives or repositories); 'Style sheet' to remind me how my filing system works; 'Where Is It?' index book.
  3. Small magnifier; 2B pencils; enclosed pencil sharpener (so I can put it in my pocket at repositories); good quality coil-bound notebook (A5 or A4); 4-ring binders and copysafe page protectors.
  4. Camera. Preferably digital, but an old SLR and a roll of film will do.
  5. Pedigree Charts and Family Group Sheets. With these I take a summary of names, dates, places etc to repositories where I cannot take a computer.
  6. Maps, including the Ordnance Survey Motoring Atlas of Great Britain. It shows rivers, hills etc that may influence where people went to market, church etc, and has a good place name index.
  7. The Macquarie Book of Events (Bryce Fraser). I can put my ancestors' lives in context if I know what was happening in Australia. The book covers Discovery, Settlement, People, Transport, Communications, Industries, Trade, Taxes, the Economy, Work Force, Regal/Vice-Regal, Politics, Law, Defence, Education, Religion, Health, Social Welfare, Science, the Environment, Arts, Disasters, Sport.
  8. Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History (Mark D. Herber).
  9. The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers. Parish maps, topographical maps, location of parish registers/indexes (England, Scotland, Wales).
  10. Newspapers in Australian Libraries: a union list. Part 2: Australian newspapers. Often quicker than the Internet if you want to know what newspapers were published when/where and the location of copies.
Before I go travelling without a computer, I use my genealogy software (The Master Genealogist + SecondSite) to create (on a USB flash drive) a family tree in HTML format. I omit living people for privacy reasons. If I am visiting friends or a public library, I can usually look at my tree (which is just a series of Web pages) on their computer.

What would you put on a 'Top Ten' list of things you need for genealogy?

1 comment:

  1. I love Geniaus's list on http://geniaus.blogspot.com/2010/07/10-things-i-cant-live-without-to.html. It is all about people.


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